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4 min read

HOTTEST STARTUP EVENTS IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2023

By Celesley Torres on 24 November 2022

The benefits of attending startup events for founders and their growing teams are countless: from meeting investors, leaders in your industry, listening to inspiring talks and of course connecting and learning from other motivated entrepreneurs. However, it is no secret that attending events take a lot of time and energy, so making sure that the events you attend are worth your time is essential. To help you to navigate the vast amount of startup events, we have compiled the top 5 hottest startup events in the first half of 2023 that you don’t want to miss!

Topics: Startup Tips Events
5 min read

There is more than post corona IT in 2023 - Trendreport

By Lukas Zechel on 17 November 2022

The effects of the Corona pandemic and the steadily increasing use of cloud services are changing the world of work and confronting many IT managers with entirely new challenges. They have to take on new areas of responsibility and fulfill the new requirements for flexibility and automation at all levels. The core disciplines of IT strategy, IT security, IT infrastructure, software, data, and processes remain the same, but the underlying challenges in these areas have evolved.  The trends that are emerging for 2023 will require new changes:

Topics: Learnings digital Bitroad IT
5 min read

10 real employee Perks to attract and Keep talents

By Franziska Schultze on 09 November 2022

Does this situation seem familiar to you? The days are over, where fruit baskets are a good enough to attract and keep employees. They want their company to care for their needs and also want to see the benefits of working at their job in their personal life. Having a mental health webinar, for example, as presented in this TikTok by Ali Woods video, might look good to others on LinkedIn. But does it actually contribute to your employee's wellbeing if they are already overwhelmed with work? Not really. 

Topics: Startup Tips Learnings Leadership
8 min read

10 FemTech Startups from Germany you should know

By Swantje Jung on 03 November 2022

The health care system has historically suffered from a gender bias, with women's health being underfunded, underserved, and overlooked. Misdiagnosis due to a lack of symptom catalogs for women, incorrect medication because pharmaceuticals are primarily tested on men, and limited to no knowledge of one's own body are the bitter consequences. But rescue is in sight! (Female) founders and startups are using technology to close the gender health gap. FemTech, or female technology, is a new field in medicine that focuses on women's health and uses technology-based products and services to track and assess symptoms, provide expert advice, and help women better understand their bodies.  With wearables, softwares, mobile apps and other digital tools, the FemTech industry is growing rapidly - by 2025, the value of femtech companies is expected to exceed $50 billion. In this article, we introduce you to ten emerging FemTech startups from Germany poised to revolutionize the healthcare industry.

Topics: Startup Bios Diversity FemTech
7 min read

How SpinLab lives corporate social responsibility

By Linh Pham on 31 August 2022

At SpinLab, we always act in the interests of the environment, society and our employees. We are committed to driving social change and sustainable development in order to make an effective contribution to a future worth living.

Topics: Learnings environment Diversity Team
6 min read

10 promising Energy Startups in Germany

By Linh Pham on 17 August 2022

Climate change and, most recently, Russia's invasion of Ukraine have plunged energy policy in crisis. In order to become independent of Russian oil and gas, numerous countries are currently putting their energy and climate policies on the test bench. Alternatives are needed. Times have never been more promising for founders in the energy sector. As the energy system undergoes a far-reaching transformation, new digital solutions, technologies and innovative business models are needed. In this article, we introduce you to upcoming energy startups from Germany.

Topics: Startup Bios startups energy
6 min read

Emerging Venture Capital Alternatives for startups

By Linh Pham on 09 August 2022

Never before has so much venture capital flowed into startups as in the past year. 2021 was a record year with mega deals and new unicorns. For the first time ever, European startups raised over $100 billion. This represented a 115% increase in the funding amount from 2020. Currently, VC funding receives the most attention in the media. For young startups, it seems to be the best way of funding. However, there are more alternatives to the classic VC money. As part of the 13th edition of the HHL SpinLab Investors Day, Damian Polok (Silicon Valley Bank), Isabella Hermann-Schön (Round2 Capital), Paul Becker (re:cap) and Patrick Walsh (uncapped) came together in Leipzig to discuss venture capital alternatives. This panel dives into the questions whether the alternatives are in conflict with the VC world, what factors to be aware of when it comes to financing and how the diffrent options work. 

Topics: startups Venture Capital Events
20 min read

THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY IN GERMANY

By Eric Weber on 04 August 2022

Crises have been weighing on the global economy for almost two years. The energy industry in particular has been hammered by the Ukraine invasion as oil and gas imports from Russian sources are now realized with big (ethical) question marks. Rising prices, supply bottlenecks and alarmingly empty storage facilities have been the result, not only in Germany. Already in September 2019 – long before the war - the German government declared an “emergency plan” with three levels and reached level 2 (alert level) end of June 2022. At level 2, the goal is to fill gas storages by reducing gas consumption, e.g. through reducing the electricity production with gas power plants. For these reasons, the discussion on nuclear power has gained new momentum. Even the German Minister of Finance Christian Lindner - contrary to his statement from the end of 2021 - wants to rekindle a debate on nuclear power. But what does the situation actually look like and how realistic is a return to nuclear power really?

Topics: energy
4 min read

Startup-Corporate Collaboration: eCovery Case Study

By Linh Pham on 24 May 2022

After an injury, many patients need physiotherapeutic care. For this, they usually visit an ambulant practice several times a week. However, independent training at home is just as important for the success of the therapy. There are usually no guided exercises for this and if there are, the instructions are often difficult to understand and not very motivating. 

Topics: Case Study pilot project
5 min read

Top Startup Events in Europe you should not miss

By Linh Pham on 07 February 2022

Do you want getting inspired by other founders, learn new skills, and meet potential new partners or investors? Startup events are a very important venue for entrepreneurs to meet new people and boost their own business. We put together the perfect list for you, presenting the top events of 2022 you shouldn't miss!

Topics: Startup Tips Events
6 min read

10 reasons why SpinLab is interesting for more established startups

By Eric Weber on 11 January 2022

You have come across our Accelerator program, but you are not quite sure if it is suitable for your startup? We often receive questions from established startups asking whether they still fit into the program and what added value the participation has. In this article, we will show you 10 strong arguments why established startups should definitely apply for our free program. Let's go!

Topics: Startup Tips applynow
5 min read

Startup-Corporate Collaboration:Keleya Case Study

By Linh Pham on 04 January 2022

Victoria Engelhardt entered the entrepreneurial world with a mission: to provide reliable support to women during their pregnancy. With that, Keleya was born. Almost every pregnant woman has to deal with different physical complaints during pregnancy, such as morning sickness or back pain. Many questions arise with the first child and this can be very overwhelming. When looking for solutions, as well as for questions about the right diet or exercise, for example, women tend to be confused rather than being really helped. Back then, solutions for pregnant women only offer one-size-fits-all content or are offline (e.g. birth preparation classes) and hence inflexible or often booked up.

Topics: Case Study pilot project
6 min read

Tips and tricks for improving remote work in your startup

By Franziska Schultze on 20 December 2021

Going in to the new year, we have the time to reflect on the way that remote work is currently organized in our team. Do you have long-term solutions to common challenges in remote work? In this article, I will highlight five challenges of remote work and tips on overcoming them.

Topics: Startup Tips Learnings Leadership
6 min read

Why do we need more diversity in venture capital?

By Linh Pham on 10 December 2021

Recent studies such as the Female Founders Report and German Startup Monitor clearly showed that the startup landscape is mainly white and male. Only 18 % of founders in Germany are women. Just five percent of these female startup founders received more than one million euros in funding, compared to 30 percent of men. Unfortunately, a lot of VC firms seem to be run with a "boys club" mentality, resulting in unconscious biases and systemic inequalities. As part of the 12th edition of the HHL SpinLab Investors Day, Bettine Schmitz (Auxxo), Dagmar Bottenbruch (Segenia), Petra Sokolová (Inven Capital) and Duc Quyen Tran (Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures) came together to discuss why more diversity in venture capital is needed. Dr. Tanja Emmerling (Hightech Gründerfonds) presented in her keynote: “Diversity -so what?!” Essentials for your Diversity Playbook: how diversity can be implemented in venture capital

Topics: Learnings Diversity
6 min read

How to Quantify Your Product Market Fit

By Valeria Clement Caicedo on 30 November 2021

​​Dear reader please note this is NOT a regular product market fit blog article. Here we neither explain you what Product Market Fit is (we already did in our Product Marktet fit and your startup: 7 things you need to know blog nor will we repeat you that a bad product market fit is the reason #1 why startups fail. With this article we want to introduce you to a methodology to quantify your product market fit.

Topics: Startup Tips Learnings
9 min read

Debunking 4 myths on gender diversity in the startup world

By Marina Chkolnikov on 19 October 2021

Not really unexpectedly, the startup environment is not very diverse but rather homogeneous. Let the numbers speak: Let the numbers speak: 16 % of founders in Germany are women and roughly 75 % of VC money goes to male-only startup teams. Many companies, advisory boards, political parties have picked up these facts and want to contribute to change, for example by offering startup accelerator programs for (gender) diverse startup teams (Grow F, SpinLab Summer School), VCs that especially support female or mixed teams, quotas or scholarships. It has even become a trend in many industries.

Topics: Startup Tips Learnings Diversity
8 min read

Guidelines to avoid broken cap tables

By Eric Weber on 20 September 2021

A cap table- short name for “capitalization table”- is a spreadsheet with an overview of who owns a portion of equity of a company and how this equity is distributed among shareholders. When entrepreneurs are looking for financing rounds, the cap table is one of the main files that investors will check to assess whether the venture has a healthy distribution of equity or not. Generally, investors prefer cap tables where all or at least the vast majority of shareholders will contribute to value creation in the future. In some cases, entrepreneurs with appealing and promising business ideas miss funding opportunities due to the so-called broken cap tables. This refers to an inadequate distribution of equity among shareholders or inacceptable terms and conditions, which generates misalignment of interests or interferes with an efficient business management. As a result, the startup losses the ability to raise funds or requires going through a painful restructuring process.

Topics: Startup Tips startups
12 min read

A step by step guide to build a cap table

By Eric Weber on 06 September 2021

When preparing financial rounds, investors usually ask for cap tables (short version for “capitalization table”). Basically, this is a list or spreadsheet with an overview of all shareholders who have a participation on your company. Sounds easy? But in fact it isn’t, especially in later financing rounds. Why? Well, in the easiest case is the simple share distribution to founders and investors round by round, but in practice the deal structures are more complex. Typically, due to special rights and agreements, the allocation of equity shares deviates from voting rights and from money proceeds distributed after a cash event like an exit (e.g. a trade sale or an IPO). Very often it is complex enough to hire (and pay) external consultants and lawyers to reproduce the contractually fixed distribution and it is a frequent discussion point in due diligence processes on that way. Thus, it is worth paying some attention right from the beginning.

Topics: Startup Tips Learnings
7 min read

10 promising smart city startups in Germany

By Linh Pham on 30 July 2021

Our cities are growing. Along with them, our current problems and challenges are increasing: Population growth, pollution, resource shortages, infrastructure bottlenecks. These challenges are slowly reducing the quality of life in the city. Therefore, we need more efficient ways to increase the quality of life for city citizens. Concepts are needed to distribute existing resources more effectively and to develop new ways to produce these resources in the city. The keyword is smart city. Smart City aims to offer citizens efficient, fast and innovative services and infrastructures. The stars of this new age are startups with innovative business models. In this blog article, we introduce you to 10 promising smart city startups that are shaping the city of tomorrow.

Topics: Startup Bios 2021
7 min read

10 promising E-health Startups from Germany

By Linh Pham on 26 May 2021

The e-health segment has been considered one of the up-and-coming topics in the startup scene for years. Digital transformation in the healthcare system is one of the major future issues of our time. The consequences of skills shortage, urbanization as well as demographic change require a modernization of the healthcare system. Digital technologies mean innovation and progress  for sustainable basic medical care and an improved quality of life.

Topics: Startup Bios 2021
10 min read

Why many Startups fail

By Clara Fischer on 06 May 2021

"2021 will be the year of the unicorns," "German startups are raising more money than ever," "From a garage to the most valuable corporation" – there are great success stories of founders to read about in the news. However, barely anyone talks about the many failures in the startup world. And believe me, there are way more than you might think. While it seems deceptively easy to found a successful start-up, this is not really the case. Rarely is a start-up so well-tuned to its niche that it can be kept afloat with minimal effort. The momentum among founders is high, but in the long run only one in ten companies survives. In this article, we present the most common reasons why start-ups fail.

Topics: Startup Tips
17 min read

B2B Sales for Startups in 2021

By Dennis Birkhölzer on 03 March 2021

Acquiring new customers and generating revenue is the fuel to keep a company running.

It therefore creates pressure on the sales representative as they are in charge of generating these revenues by acquiring new customers. In addition, they have got to deal with rejection in their daily routines, which is mentally challenging.

Topics: Startup Tips
4 min read

How to improve your chances of being accepted into a startup accelerator (2021)

By Shawn Segundo on 26 February 2021

The application round for our 12th cohort in the SpinLab is officially open, and with that, we wanted to take some time to highlight some tips we’ve collected over the years to help you make your startup accelerator applications really stand out.

In case you want the short and sweet video version

And believe us, we’ve seen some really bad applications. So we definitely know what you shouldn’t be doing. Collectively between all projects, our team has evaluated over 4,000 applications to various programs, and we are now ”trained” to easily find the most outstanding applications.

Topics: Startup Tips
12 min read

Venture Capital Definitions: Important Deal Terms in Plain Language (2020)

By Eric Weber on 26 January 2021

Especially during the current pandemic it would be very hard to live without some of our favourite products/services, that mostly appeared since the beginning of the millenium: Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Spotify, HelloFresh - just to name a few.

Although these and other favourite products of generations x, y & z are very different in nature, they often have 1 thing in common: venture capital. Some would even argue that without venture capital financing some of these products wouldn’t even exist today. Nevertheless it is almost guaranteed that those products would be different or their wider adoption level would be less without venture capital.

But what exactly is venture capital?

While Venture Capital (VC) is among the most preferred and frequently used financing options for startups, many founders are not very familiar with the definitions of various venture capital contractual terms – sometimes even after an investment has already taken place. For the sake of fairness, these contractual terms are quite complex and thus contracts are quite long.

Since VC contracts are private agreements, individual arrangements and wordings are up on negotiation. However, there is a basic set of frequently used mechanisms that can be considered somewhat “standard terms.” Still, in contracts – as well as in the dozens of books, presentations and many blogs and comments on those – the language used is formal and based on legal standards.

Therefore, they are close to what founders will officially sign, but are still difficult to understand for beginners.

Topics: Startup Tips
10 min read

How to find a startup job in Leipzig

By Marina Chkolnikov on 28 December 2020

As you might have heard a lot recently, Leipzig has been found to be a very attractive and livable city in several rankings over the past years.

No wonder the city has attracted a lot of creative minds to stay and join the fascination. Leipzig’s startup scene has grown to a respectable size given the fact that Leipzig is only the 8th biggest city in Germany. With a growing startup scene fueled by lots of meetups, events and co-working spaces, and specialties in the fields of Smart Infrastructure (digital health, energy and smart city) as well as and Social Startups Leipzig has a lot of attractive startup employers to offer. 

Topics: Startup Tips
17 min read

Crowdfunding a Startup: 10 proven tactics that still hold true for 2021

By Matthew McDermott on 10 December 2020

Crowdfunding has come a long way. What started with pioneer Kickstarter a little over a decade ago, has become a booming and crowded space with many stories of record-breaking success.

And, of course, failures that have kicked off more sh*tstorms than anyone can keep track of, and sometimes even lawsuits, by disappointed backers. Along the way the market has diversified into basically any vertical one could imagine (e.g. Experiment.com enables scientists to crowdfund their research) and the first platforms have come and gone.

Topics: Startup Tips
4 min read

Startup-Corporate Collaboration: Die Energiekoppler Case Study

By Clara Fischer on 24 November 2020

As a spin-off of the Technische Universität Dresden which participated in the EXIST Research Transfer Program, the Energiekoppler team applied to the SpinLab to develop their entrepreneurial skills and expand their network. The team developed a standardized and automated flexibility tool that is used for remote diagnosis and control of decentralized energy generators, storage devices and consumers of small power classes. The "swarmBOX" processes power, heat and mobility requirements in the building per connected system and forecasts the system operation locally. Coordinator "swarmHUB" records further restrictions at grid level or from energy trading and plans the deployment of the networked energy systems in order to help stabilize the energy supply or to realize the sales of excess capacity. 

The reason for applying to SpinLab - The HHL Accelerator were several recommendations by contacts in the industry: Among others, Robert Klimpke, innovation manager at LEAG, spoke out in favor of the program, which helps founders prepare for pilot projects and investment rounds. 

Topics: Startup Tips
12 min read

Does your startup have an attractive employer brand?

By RCKT on 17 November 2020

While you’re busy building your business, expanding quickly and working on your products, HR can often take a backseat at first. For sure you have already created your value proposition and buyer personas. Now it’s all about your startup as an employer, not as a corporate brand.

As you know, a highly motivated and skilled team is the key to success. It’s nearly impossible to overstate the importance of having the right employees working for your startup. Growing a business is for sure a team effort. But how can you create a buzz around your startup, attract motivated talent and keep your existing workforce to stay with your company and stay happy?

There is only one right answer to this question: Employer branding.

Topics: Startup Tips
9 min read

GDPR Compliance and Startups: 7 principles you MUST master (2020)

By Shawn Segundo on 14 October 2020

Since its inception in 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has thrown many companies, consumers, and individuals into a bit of a confused frenzy.

It’s understandable too - suddenly there was talk of huge fines being imposed, rules of non-EU companies also being effected, what was still allowed regarding data collection, and what no longer was - I can say from my own experience here in the SpinLab, that getting ready for the GDPR was no simple task.

Topics: Startup Tips
7 min read

Investing in a Sustainable Future – ESG discussed at HHL SpinLab Investors Day

By Clara Fischer on 28 September 2020

What indicators do investors look for when they talk about sustainable investing? Are there any standard criteria taken into account? How do VCs make sure that their startups are serious about their impact? Is sustainable investment = impact investing? The fifth edition of SpinLab’s and HHL’s Investors Day was all about ESG, sustainability issues  and the future of the German investment market.

Together with top-notch speakers, participants could learn from their experiences in leading towards meaningful strategies, discuss concerns and get insights on best practices. Accompanied by 14 startup pitches and personal as well as hybrid networking sessions, the event was one of the first in-person experiences after a long time for many investors that joined the event.

Topics: Startup Tips
5 min read

Crisis Communication for Startups

By Clara Fischer on 08 September 2020

How would you feel when you were the  customer of a startup, that seems to have some trouble going on – and not knowing what’s happening with your order? 

Have you ever bought something and received the message that the package has been sent, but has not been delivered in over a week?

Topics: Startup Tips
3 min read

Health insurance systems in Germany: This is what you really need to know!

By Mark Winkler on 21 August 2020

The fact is: In Germany, health insurance is compulsory. In this article I will explain the different types of health insurances, their advantages and disadvantages and how you can find out which of the insurance models suits your life situation, profession and income best.

Topics: Startup Tips
5 min read

How to write and send out proper press releases

By Clara Fischer on 10 August 2020

Press releases have been a highly debated topic for a while now. Some PR professionals swear they are the best tools to get coverage, others think they are overrated. Depending on the topic and the media outlets you are pitching to, it might make sense to write a press release though. Especially when pitching towards journalists that cover a variety of topics, having a press release with all relevant information, material and contact details is very helpful and spares them a lot of research time. Also, for highly official announcements such as strategic decisions or crisis communication, (wait for our next blog on that topic!) a press release is a good choice.

Topics: Startup Tips
4 min read

COVID-19 & Funding for startups: How the landscape will evolve

By Dirk Frohnert on 27 April 2020

Despite a different trigger, the current period of unusual turbulences and its impact on the economic situation has many similarities to former large crises of the past few decades (e.g. burst of the dotcom bubble, global financial crisis, European sovereign crisis): in general a high degree of uncertainty, financial distress & large volatility in publicly traded markets followed by a global economic downturn of unknown severity and length.

Topics: Startup Tips
18 min read

Product Market Fit and Your Startup: 7 Things you need to know (2020)

By Shawn Segundo on 23 April 2020

Product market fit is one of those things that is very much its own unicorn inside of the startup world. A lot of people hear about it, a lot of people talk about it, but not very many people have achieved it.

Topics: Startup Tips
12 min read

How to be HAS (Helpful As Sh%t) and why your startup should care

By Shawn Segundo on 01 April 2020

Let me first start off by saying, welcome to 2020! OK, now that that is out of the way, let’s get back to making our empires as awesome as possible.

Excuse the somewhat crude title to this article (hey, come on it’s not that bad, we all know you’ve seen worse) but let me introduce you to what I have dubbed the HAS Principle. In other words, HAS = Helpful As Shit.

Topics: Startup Tips
11 min read

STARTUP BUSINESS PLAN: DOING SALES RIGHT FROM THE START (2020)

By Dennis Birkhölzer on 23 March 2020

Working in one of Germany’s best accelerator programs, helping startups on a daily basis, we get a lot of insights, on how founders do or don’t do their sales job. Besides finding funding, defining their strategy and developing their product, actually selling their product is the key element for a startup’s success. And that can only be accomplished when sound sales strategies are properly integrated into a startup business plan

Topics: Startup Tips
10 min read

How you can support spinlab startups during the corona virus pandemic

By Shawn Segundo on 19 March 2020

Today’s date is March 19th, 2020 and if you’re just hearing the latest news about the Corona Virus Pandemic that is sweeping across the globe, I want to know what cave you’ve been hiding in, because it seems one cannot escape hearing about the pandemic every five minutes.

Topics: Startup Culture
10 min read

International Venture Capital and Forced Exits: Recapping HHL SpinLab Investors Day 4

By Eric Weber on 18 February 2020

About 200 venture capitalists, family offices and business angels mingled with our corporate partners and startups during the fourth HHL SpinLab Investors Day.

With networking sessions, inspiring speeches and panels accompanied by top-notch startup pitches, the likeminded community enjoyed the event. Focusing on the topics “Investing with international venture capitals” and “How to force exits?” both investors and founders were able to discuss important aspects of the same topics from their perspectives.

Topics: Learnings
1 min read

VIDEO - HHL SpinLab Investors Day January 2020 Recap

By Shawn Segundo on 03 February 2020

Last Thursday on January 30th, 2020 we hosted our fourth HHL SpinLab Investors Day in the Kunst Kraftwerk in Leipzig.

This is the premier event in the region where investors from all over the EU can learn about new trends in the landscape, network with other investors, and get introduced to some of the world's brightest startups that they can invest in.

Topics: Learnings
1 min read

VIDEO - What is a Startup Founder?

By Shawn Segundo on 13 January 2020

2020 has been a fantastic year so far, and we're starting the year off properly with all cylinders firing to try and get the word out for the upcoming deadline on 28.01.2020 to apply for our tenth cohort in the SpinLab!

Topics: Startup Tips
9 min read

How can startups handle recruiting challenges? (2020)

By Prince Kapoor on 10 January 2020

You might have heard the expressions “Survival of the fittest” and “A smooth sea never makes good sailors.”

These are the most fitting statements within the ever expanding world of startups. There are over 150 million startups all around the world with more than 50 million brand new startups launching every year.

Topics: Startup Tips
8 min read

Coworking Leipzig in 2020: A guide for newcomers

By Shawn Segundo on 09 January 2020

There is a diverse and vibrant ecosystem of coworking spaces in Leipzig. Coworking spaces are great for the ones looking for affordable and flexible, yet professional workspace options, networking opportunities and good company.

Topics: Startup Culture
10 min read

11 reasons to apply for the SpinLab startup accelerator program

By Shawn Segundo on 06 January 2020

The date today is February 4th, 2021. What does that mean for you as a startup founder?

That means you have roughly one month and a half to apply for our 12th class! If you really wanted to get the ”elevator pitch” of what the SpinLab does and what our program does, you could easily find that information on our what we do page or our apply now page, but let’s be honest, when you’re in the decision making process you want a bit more reality to factor in.

Topics: Startup Tips
19 min read

What is a Startup Accelerator? (2021)

By Shawn Segundo on 05 January 2020

If you're a new founder, you might have already asked yourself the question - "How do startup accelerators work?"

And we're going to get to that, but first, for all of our newest founders, let's really startup from rock bottom with all this startup accelerator stuff.

Startup Accelerators? WTF could those be? If you’re not actively involved in one of the world’s many startup scenes, it may not actually be clear to you what such an establishment actually is, or maybe if you’re new to this stuff as a whole, you might not have even ever heard this term before.

Topics: Startup Culture
5 min read

[VIDEO] Digging deeper into landing pages with startups in 2020

By Shawn Segundo on 03 January 2020

Class nine has started in the SpinLab, and with that, we’re once again going back to some basic business focus areas to make sure our new startups are getting everything right from the start.

Today we’re going to focus on a common marketing topic - What is a landing page?

Topics: Startup Tips
1 min read

VIDEO - How to become an entrepreneur, according to wikihow

By Shawn Segundo on 12 November 2019

We at the SpinLab have really enjoyed pushing video content creation in the last quarter. We get great responses from our audiences, and it's also a ton of fun to create these videos. We can definitely recommend it, especially for new startups out there!

Topics: Startup Culture
10 min read

Startup Blogs in 2019: How you can get yours up and running in 20 minutes or less

By Shawn Segundo on 11 September 2019

I am fortunate enough to enjoy writing. I do it a lot professionally for the SpinLab blog, and I write a lot in my free time as well. This is a really big advantage in 2019 because creating content to leverage good SEO tactics is more important than ever. Your customers are getting smarter, and they expect the best information online.

Topics: Startup Tips
12 min read

How to create a Value Proposition for your startup (2020)

By Dennis Birkhölzer on 02 September 2019

After the short and more introductory articles on how to approach your potential clients in general, this piece now focuses on the specific needs you could address with your solution. One startup sales strategy in 2019 is value-based selling, where you define your value proposition for each type of customer.

Topics: Startup Tips
9 min read

Effective landing pages for startups: Evaluating the latest Neil Patel offer

By Shawn Segundo on 27 August 2019

Let’s start with the basics here, what actually is a landing page on a website? Well, a landing page is basically a URL on your site that people land on with the hopes of taking a specific action on that page. Said action may be something like:

Topics: Startup Tips
1 min read

No Equity, No Costs - A SpinLab Rap

By Shawn Segundo on 25 August 2019

We've been ramping up our efforts lately with video production to offer more digitized versions of our workshops and trainings to our startups, but it also motivated us to fuse that new medium with some marketing forte. So we took a popular rap song, wrote our own lyrics to lay on top of it, filmed the content, and put it all together in one day.

8 min read

Why the German Venture Capital gap is not (only) in later stage

By Eric Weber on 25 July 2019

In the last years we saw many speeches by top German politicians of different parties who agreed that Germany performs badly compared to the United States, Israel or China when it comes to Venture Capital, due to the identified lack of Later Stage investments.

Topics: Learnings
5 min read

5 Tips to Write a Business Plan for a Tech Startup: Become a Leader

By Kristin Savage on 08 July 2019

'Before starting to search for investors and financing, startups need not only to get a business plan, but also to make sure that it is reliable as a rock. Below you will find tips on how to make a successful business plan. They will help you to write an incredibly cool project and win investor confidence!

Topics: Startup Tips
6 min read

Startup Sales – Introduction: Customer Discovery

By Dennis Birkhölzer on 03 July 2019

The first article in this series has given you an insight into finding your internal values to define your external value proposition. In this article, you will learn how to find customers. Steven G. Blank, a renowned entrepreneur, worked out central questions that he discovered when observing start-ups while acquiring new customers:

Topics: Startup Tips
3 min read

Let’s talk about the third HHL SpinLab Investors Day

By Stefanie Wettmann on 20 June 2019

The first HHL SpinLab Investors Day of the year took place at a location which probably provides the best view over Leipzig - at the Felix, just across from Augustusplatz - Startups and Investors met and engaged in several activities like Pitches and Speed Dating. The event was organized by the HHL and the SpinLab. Central Topics of this years Investor Day were Team Due Diligence and Brand Management.

Topics: Learnings
6 min read

Team Due Diligence and Venture Capital Brand Building – Key take aways from HHL SpinLab Investors Day

By Eric Weber on 13 June 2019

The HHL SpinLab Investors Day in June 2019 took place at the location with the best view over Leipzig! At the Felix - just across Augustusplatz – 170 investors, partners and startups met and engaged in several activities like keynotes and panels on special venture capital (VC) know-how as well as startup pitches and speed dating. Central topics of this year’s Investor Day were Team Due Diligence and Brand Management as VC.

Topics: Learnings
10 min read

How to pitch a startup: Breaking down one of our best startup pitches

By Shawn Segundo on 03 June 2019

How to pitch a startup is a key skill for all founders, and something all founders need to practice constantly. On April 18th, 2018 we hosted our first ever HHL SpinLab Investors Day in the Leipzig Zoo.

Topics: Learnings
45 min read

Startup Grants in germany: The ultimate guide

By Martin Richter on 27 May 2019

A startup needs money! This is a valid, simple statement right? But where does the money come from? Well, first of all there is organic and in-organic growth.

Organic growth, (bootstrapping) explains the processes of founding a company without external funding. Basically the founder is supporting the entire endeavor with his or her private assets and savings.

Topics: Startup Tips
4 min read

9 Ways to Boost your E-commerce Startup

By Nelly Muradkhanyan on 14 May 2019

E-commerce is a quick and convenient business process for both sellers and buyers. It allows sellers to sell physical goods online while buyers just need to wait for their orders to be delivered at home.

Topics: Startup Tips
4 min read

How to finance your growth phase if the house bank is no longer willing to support?

By Axel Kahl on 26 April 2019

Even if the media likes to report on ambitious startups that earn a lot of money with a profitable exit, in practice no founder knows exactly what to expect after the foundation. A high is followed by a low and vice versa - but typically a startup company usually goes through the same, categorisable development phases.

Topics: Startup Tips
13 min read

Startup Logos: 6 tips to design them properly from the start (2020)

By Shawn Segundo on 04 April 2019

Successfully running a startup accelerator can be tricky business as there are typically a myriad of things we are trying to accomplish all at once. But developing a good startup logo should not be something that provides too many challenges for a young company.

Topics: Startup Tips
3 min read

An introduction to agile B2B sales – Always start with WHY

By Dennis Birkhölzer on 29 March 2019

Congratulations! You’ve founded your startup, and everybody around you really seems to like what you are doing. But somehow it seems hard to sell your awesome solution. Why is that? This is when it comes to actual sales strategy.

Topics: Startup Tips
7 min read

Who is the most successful startup in Germany?

By Eric Weber on 04 March 2019

Often, I get questions from journalists, scientists and people interested in startups from all over the world, “What is the most successful startup from Leipzig, or moreover, from all of Germany?” The answer to this question is difficult, not only because of the complexity to define or to measure what success really is, but also because the term “startup“ can be used and seen very differently.

8 min read

First impressions for a startup: 6 ways to perfectly present your logo

By Shawn Segundo on 04 March 2019

We’ve seen a lot of startups come through our startup accelerator's doors, and make no mistake about it, new founders have a lot to do. In fact, they have a ton to do, and there’s normally not enough hours in the day for them to accomplish all of their daily tasks.

6 min read

Advisory boards in German tech-based startups

By Eric Weber on 03 March 2019


Many startups all over the world have advisory boards for different reasons. However, research and practice-oriented studies on advisory boards can be rarely found. This fact motivated me to look closer at advisory boards in startups and to publish the following findings of my research.

Topics: Learnings
8 min read

What do you think is the number one reason that startups succeed?

By Shawn Segundo on 01 March 2019

Here in the SpinLab, you can imagine that we run into a lot of challenges that startups are having. These problems can have very extensive reaches and range from financing issues to overall construction of a basic business plan.

Topics: Learnings
7 min read

4 Reasons why startups should always create pitch decks as a PDF

By Shawn Segundo on 21 February 2019

There are quite a few moving components that all interlink with each other when determining reasons for startup success. Right off the top of my head, certain elements come to mind such as the interoperability of the team, the concept itself, the timing, the competition, the saturation, the innovation, and pretty much every other buzz word in the tech/startup industry you can possibly think of.

Topics: Startup Tips
13 min read

Why Do Startups Struggle With Online Marketing?

By Shawn Segundo on 21 February 2019

If you’re a newer startup that has a marketing plan that is already successful, consider yourself very fortunate and in a very small percentile. What exactly defines a successful marketing plan? Well of course, there are many individualized definitions for this, but basically at this stage your marketing should be bringing in more money than it costs you to have. In essence, you should have some kind of return on investment (ROI).

Topics: Startup Tips
9 min read

6 Reasons Why Startups Should Use Google Tag Manager

By Shawn Segundo on 17 February 2019

When startups join our startup accelerator program, they eventually express some concern about their websites, there are some things that cause me to raise an eyebrow as to how important their online presence actually is to them.

Topics: Startup Tips
25 min read

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Google Analytics & Startups

By Shawn Segundo on 10 February 2019

So to change things up a bit, I’ve decided to shift to a bit of a mini-series that kinda grows with time, and expands as new knowledge continues to be gained. I plan on this to be a living breathing article of the best tips we find whilst working with startups and their Analytics platforms.

Topics: Startup Tips
3 min read

How do Venture Capital (VC) companies actually work?

By Lennart Mehl on 08 February 2019

Have you ever heard the expressions VC’s, LPs, Term Sheet, Fund returner, Multiples, or hurdle rate and asked yourself: What the heck do they actually mean?

Topics: Startup Tips
10 min read

6 Learnings on How to recruit new talent as a startup

By Viola Oberacker on 07 February 2019

A highly-motivated and skilled team is one of the most important factors for a startup’s success. However, finding new employees can be a time-consuming and an expensive procedure.

Topics: Startup Tips
7 min read

Modern Investments: Startups and Crowdfunding

By Shawn Segundo on 03 February 2019

Startup accelerators really love to talk about the “startup ecosystem”, and the reason for that is because we truly are in our own ecosystem. We have our own language, our own culture, and a unique set of goals that more traditional companies don’t usually share. But this is what actually makes us unique! The grand ability to take problems and develop solutions around them is what startups do best.

Topics: Startup Tips
9 min read

Startup Lessons Learned: 8 learnings for future entrepreneurs

By Eric Weber on 05 October 2018

Three and a half years ago we brought SpinLab to life, and just recently we were awarded as one of the top 3 German startup accelerators in an independent study conducted by the Cologne University of Applied Sciences (RFH).

Other studies mention us as lighthouse and also we have been selected as one of the top 10 German business supporters by the German Council of European Enterprise Awards committee.

Topics: Learnings
12 min read

Startup Conference Review: INBOUND

By Shawn Segundo on 11 September 2018

Startup conferences, there's no shortage of them these days. I’m currently somewhere in between Frankfurt and Leipzig on an Inter-City Express (ICE) train on my way home from the 2018 edition of INBOUND.

Topics: Startup Tips
11 min read

BUYER PERSONAS (And why they are so critical)

By Shawn Segundo on 02 March 2018

It’s been an interesting and exciting month here at the SpinLab, for those who have been keeping track, our ninth class is ending this month, so we have had our hands full.

Topics: Startup Tips
3 min read

2 Solid Years of Acceleration (INFOGRAPHIC)

By Shawn Segundo on 03 March 2017

In February 2015, the first SpinLab class walked through our doors and began their program with us. It was a great experience for everyone on this day, and a scary one as well. But today, in 2017 we can proudly say we’ve learned a TON about startups and how to best guide them, and we’ve also learned a great deal about running our own team, and the logistics of running a successful business overall.

Topics: Startup Culture
9 min read

Why startups should keep web content in house

By Shawn Segundo on 17 February 2017

There you are sitting there one day with the great idea to found a new startup, I mean, it is all the rage right? You’re enamored with the images you’ve seen via media and through the stories you’ve heard from a friend of a friend of a friend who has an uncle who cuts the hair of a startup founder. There it is, right before your eyes, the laid back dress code, the sheik and up to date working environment with state of the art technology everywhere.

Topics: Startup Tips
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